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Miami Immigration & Naturalization Law Blog

Lobbying group estimates cost of Trump's immigration plans

Presidential candidate Donald Trump's immigration proposals have generated a lot of fear in Florida's immigrant communities. But some research done by a lobbying group shows that Trump's plans would be prohibitively expensive. The group has also released the results of a poll showing most independent voters are opposed to his plans.

The group, FWD.us, was created by Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, to lobby for immigration reform. According to the group's calculations, Trump's plan to deport 11.3 people could cost as much as $935 billion over the next 20 years. The group also notes that the taxes paid by undocumented immigrants in the U.S. amount to about $11.64 billion every year.

Holding a Florida property owner liable for dangerous premises

Property owners in Florida have a legal duty to keep their premises reasonably safe for people who come on the property. When a landowner fails to remedy a hazardous condition on their property, serious injuries can result. The accidents caused by dangerous premises range from falls on wet floors or broken staircases to drownings and near-drownings in backyard swimming pools.

Just because an injury occurred on someone else's property doesn't mean the property owner is legally responsible. The injured party must show that the accident resulted from a dangerous condition which the owner knew about or should have known about and failed to repair. The legal theory holding property owners liable in these situations is known as premises liability.

Fighting deportation in Florida

When an immigrant in Florida receives notice of deportation proceedings, a great deal is at stake. Deportation from the United States, particularly for a person who has been here for years and may have a family, is a traumatic and life-altering event. Once a person is deported, he can be barred from ever returning to the U.S., even for a short visit.

Deportation, also known as removal, can be ordered for any alien who has committed certain criminal offenses or violated U.S. immigration law. Immigration law violations that can lead to deportation include falsifying documents regarding entry to the country, engaging in immigration marriage fraud, aiding another person to illegally enter the country or engaging in activity endangering public safety.

Jury awards in wrongful death suits may be adjusted

Wrongful death suits are innately difficult procedures for everyone involved. The very idea that a monetary award of any size can make up for the untimely loss of a human life may seem offensive to those walking through the process. Despite the emotionally volatile nature of a wrongful death suit, it is wise to be prepared for some of the ways the outcome may not play out exactly as it initially seems. In some situations, the damages a jury awards in a wrongful death suit may be adjusted after the fact.

Although a jury is tasked with awarding damages to the affected parties in a wrongful death suit, the jury does not have the last word on this judgment. A court may choose to increase or decrease the jury’s award based on a number of factors. If the deceased party (the decedent) has been demonstrated to have regularly mishandled his or her income, or if the decedent had very low earnings in general, a court may decide to decrease the damages awarded.

Can I extend my stay without violating US immigration law?

Many people come to Florida and throughout the United States from other countries for a specific period of time and decide that they want to stay longer. While many might make the mistake of simply not going back to their home country without having legal status in the U.S., there are many reasons why it is advisable for a person to seek to be granted an extension to stay. Those who are interested in an extension need to make sure to go through the legal process for doing so to prevent running afoul with the law and avoiding the various punishments that can come from a violation.

A person who would like to extend his or her stay needs to file a request with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Form I-539 is used for this purpose. It is an application to change the status prior to the authorized stay expiring. A person who stays longer than authorized could be subjected to deportation and being barred from returning. The USCIS advises that the application to extend the stay be made a minimum of 45 days before the initial expiration.

Company issues product recall of dangerous chests and dressers

When Floridians purchase a product, they are expecting it to be safe when they use it. Whatever the product may be, when there is something wrong with the product's construction or should it pose a hazard when it is installed, there can be injuries and even death.

The company should be informed of these dangers, as it will often enact a recall to remove the product from the market. However, if there were people who suffered consumer injury or consumer death, those who were affected need to understand the possibility of filing a product liability lawsuit.

Supreme Court immigration deadlock kills hope for many in Florida

Last week's U.S. Supreme Court tie vote on a case involving President Obama's immigration plan was a severe disappointment for Florida's immigrant community. The 4-4 deadlock left undisturbed a ruling from a federal appeals court that shut down two of the President's programs, Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or DAPA, and the extension of a similar program, DACA, which protected immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. The programs would have affected millions of immigrants who lack legal status.

Under DAPA, undocumented immigrants who were the parents of U.S. citizens or permanent residents would have been shielded from deportation and made eligible for work permits. Texas and 25 other states challenged the law, claiming the President did not have legal authority to implement such a plan without Congress's approval. They also argued that the President failed to follow proper procedures for changing administrative rules. The states did not challenge the original DACA program, implemented in 2012, but objected to its expansion in 2014.

What auto insurance coverage is required in Florida?

The State of Florida requires certain minimum insurance coverages be in place before a vehicle can be registered and license plates issued. Most Florida drivers are aware of this, but may be unclear as to the exact coverages required, and their purpose.

Florida requires two types of coverage on every vehicle: $10,000 in personal injury protection, also known as PIP or "no-fault" coverage, and $10,000 in property damage liability coverage. PIP coverage pays medical expenses for the policyholder, his or her family members, and any passengers who do not own their own vehicle. In the event of a fatal accident, $5,000 in death benefits is available under PIP coverage. This $5,000 is available even if the deceased exhausted the $10,000 PIP medical benefits before his or her death.

Helping families of immigrants reunite in Florida

For many immigrants who have successfully started a new life in Florida, helping family members join them in the U.S. is a high priority. U.S. immigration law provides a process for family members of American citizens and permanent residents to obtain a visa, reunite with family members here and begin the journey to U.S. citizenship.

For any citizen of another country seeking to enter the U.S., the first essential step is to obtain a visa. Visas are issued by U.S. embassies and consulates in the traveler's home country. There are two main types of U.S. visa: those seeking to live in the U.S. must obtain an immigrant visa; those staying only temporarily should apply for a non-immigrant visa.

Florida senator questions U.S. immigration law favoring Cubans

For many years, due to Cold War politics, Cuban immigrants have enjoyed significant advantages over immigrants from other countries. Unlike other immigrants, Cubans who make it to U.S. soil have an automatic right to enter the country. They can apply for a green card after being in the U.S. for one year and a day.

Cuban immigrants are also eligible for government benefits like housing assistance, work permits, Medicaid and food stamps soon after they arrive. Florida's Cuban-American community has grown and benefited from these policies.

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